Letter to Staff From Our Medical Director
May 3, 2021
Dear Regency Family,
I have been encouraged by the rapid decline in COVID-19 cases seen since the initiation of vaccinations. Thank you all for the hard work. I am however concerned with the low participation rates among staff. While we are better than the national average in most facilities, our goal is to be higher. The only way we are able to reach a new normal is to have the vast majority of patients and staff be vaccinated. That is the way to open doors and mask-less days.
The Moderna and Pfizer vaccines are exceedingly safe and effective. They show protection of over 90 percent in long- term care settings as you have seen in the last two months. Side effects are mostly Flu like and last less than 2 days. They are safe in pregnancy. How long they last is uncertain. You may need a booster in 6 months. The immunity that you develop is 2000 times that of natural immunity that you develop after COVID-19.
The blood clotting problems that have been seen were limited to the Johnson and Johnson one dose vaccine and in females 18-48 years old only. It is very rare.
Please consider the vaccination if you have not done so already. I vaccinated after having COVID-19 due to the benefits. Look at your residents’ response and you will see how safe and effective these vaccines are for this pandemic.
Doing this together we can win the battle against this terrible disease.
Thank you so much for all you do,
Corporate Medical Director
Happy National Skilled Nursing Care Week!
A tribute to our very own healthcare heroes over the last few weeks. RIHS- Heroes Video
April 28, 2020
An Open Letter to Our Extended Regency Integrated Health Services Families
Dear Families and Friends,
As one of the largest providers of nursing home and rehabilitation services in Texas, we at Regency Integrated Health Services have a tremendous responsibility to protect and care for each patient and staff member inside our facilities. It’s a responsibility we take to heart. We want to thank you for trusting us to care for your loved ones. As we continue to navigate through this unprecedented crisis, our top priority is keeping our patients healthy and safe. I would like to share more on how we are doing that inside every facility.
You may recall it was the first week of March, early in the virus outbreak, we began to prepare for what would be one of the most challenging times in history for every health care facility across the country. We assembled an Emergency Preparedness Committee consisting of physicians, nurses, and other healthcare experts to develop a coordinated COVID-19 plan. We began working with vendors to secure the equipment we would need to protect patients, families and staff. Today we continue to communicate daily with our vendors to ensure each facility has the protective gear needed.
We implemented changes to our protocols, including the immediate closure of each of our facilities to all volunteers and non-essential visitors. While it was a difficult decision, we know it was the right thing to do. Since then, we have taken many additional measures to reduce the risk to patients and staff. Some of these measures include:
- Secured personal protective equipment (PPE) for all staff at each facility
- Established guidelines for proper handling of PPE before and after staff member shifts
- Provide ongoing training of employees to ensure all are compliant with guidelines established by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), as well as standards set by local and state agencies
- Daily health screenings for patients and staff, including temperature checks
- For facilities with COVID-19 positive patients, we have created isolated spaces for the assessment and treatment of all COVID-19 patients, with physical barriers.We have also designated specific staff to COVID-19 only patients, with no duties elsewhere in the facility
- Eliminated community dining. Patients are served in their rooms, with exceptions for those who require assistance
- Deployed snack and hydration carts to rooms to ensure patients can enjoy their favorite treats
- Provide on-site meals to staff to help limit community spread of COVID-19
- Enhanced housekeeping protocols in all high touchpoints and resident use areas
- All personal laundry is now done by the facility, to ensure all CDC guidelines are followed
- Eliminated group therapy Services- now only one- to one
- Practice social distancing throughout our facilities
- Prohibited visitors and volunteers from entering the building
- Enabled video chat technology between our patients and families and friends so that they can stay connected
- Our corporate office has employed new systems to ensure all additional monitoring and reporting from facilities can be effectively tracked
Each day, we receive updated guidelines from various federal, state and local public health agencies. Regency has incorporated these recommendations, including notifying proper state officials if a patient or staff member tests positive for the virus. We are also in constant communication with all our facility administrators ensuring new protocols are understood and enforced and that every staff member is well equipped with the tools they need to stay healthy so that they can continue to care for our patients.
We are committed to addressing every new challenge this pandemic brings, while remaining true to our core mission of providing care to those who need it most. Thank you for allowing us to care for your loved ones, it is our privilege to serve our patients and their families.
Regency Integrated Health Services has been following the progression of the COVID-19 outbreak and we take this situation seriously. We receive daily updates from various federal, state and local public health agencies, and have developed an Emergency Preparedness Committee made up of Physicians, Nurses and other healthcare professionals to help coordinate Regency's COVID-19 response. We coordinate across all of our lines of business to incorporate this guidance into our practices. This page will be updated as we have additional information to share.
What is COVID-19?
A new respiratory disease – coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) – is spreading globally and there have been instances of COVID-19 community spread in the United States. The general strategies CDC recommends to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in LTCF are the same strategies these facilities use every day to detect and prevent the spread of other respiratory viruses like influenza.
How does COVID-19 spread?
■ The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes
■ These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs
■ It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads
■ This spread is similar to other respiratory conditions that have been present in other settings
Regency Integrated Health Services' managed Skilled Nursing Facility visitation policy:
■ We are open to compassionate and essential caregiver visitation
■ General visitation is open based on facility status, please contact facility directly for a status update
■ We are limiting all non-essential vendor interactions
■ We are restricting access to the facility via one entrance for staff, families and vendors
■ We are limiting all non-medical appointments and activities outside of the facility
How do I communicate with my loved one if I am unable to visit?
We encourage visitation by phone or virtually through FaceTime or Google Hangouts. We have provided our facilities with IPhones in order to communicate with family and friends. Please call the facility directly for additional information or to set up an appointment.
How does Telehealth work and are there waivers?
Please see a general Telehealth Toolkit documents below.
Windsor Atrium- Notice